Sunday, August 31, 2014

NewFo - August 2014

Time for another challenge update!!  I love doing challenges:)  This one is run by Barbara over at Cat Patches and it is a quilting one. Thankfully the rules are that you just have to START a new quilt, not actually finish it!! :) That makes this challenge so much easier.
This month I actually knew exactly what I wanted to work on and I have spent the last couple of weeks gathering new fabrics and putting together the color combo that I wanted for this. I REALLY don't have a large enough fabric stash yet!! But I added quite a bit to it this month:)
Here is my planning picture...

This pattern is from the Fall 2014 Quilts and More magazine that Better Homes and Gardens puts out. They are doing a door hanger for each season and I just love this Autumn one!! I am planning on doing the Spring one as well and can't wait to see what the Winter one will look like. I wasn't as impressed with the Summer one, so Spring will just have to stay up a bit longer.

Here are the pieces cut out of stabilizer and ready to iron on to some fabric and be cut out:)

And here is where I left off. The applique pieces and the top and bottom boarder are just sitting there for now. I am going to do hand applique as I'm not comfortable using the sewing machine for much else other than sewing straight lines:) I'm really pleased with how easy this has been so far. Really the only thing I am a little worried about is the actual quilting since I don't have much experience with that yet, but this is a small project so it should be a bit easier. MAYBE I'll have this one done in the next few weeks to show off:) 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Smalls SAL - Aug 2014

The past two days did not go as I had planned them:) I guess it was probably because I actually had a plan that I hoped to follow that it didn't go that way, but here I am and I am now ready to post my Smalls SAL project. For the details on the Smalls SAL, visit Heather at Stitching Lotus blog.

While the Smalls projects do not have to be ornaments, I did decide to do one for this month. I got the stitching part finished a few days ago...

'Silver and Blue' Country Cottage Needleworks 2008 issue of Just CrossStitch Ornie Pre-view
And then got all excited that I would actually have time to finish it into an Ornie!!! So I pulled out some of my fabric...
And found that I just didn't have what I wanted. I even sent this picture to my SIL (Marianne Meyer of Midnight Stitching) to see what she thought and she agreed that even though the fabrics I had both matched, neither one was Christmas-y. Here is where my plan started falling apart. You see, I thought since I had to go into town on Wednesday to take dd to work at the zoo, that would give me a good excuse to go to the quilting store. But it turned out that she was sick. So I stayed at home for a while in the morning, and then went to town a bit later. I needed to get tags for the vehicles too, which took longer than I expected (doesn't it always?!?!?), so I got home later than planned as well. I DID find a perfect fabric for the Ornie while I was in town though...

Once I got home I had some time to work on the Ornie since dd had fallen asleep. I got the Ornie made and decided to play around with the ribbon for a pretty edging, which took a while since I had never done that. It was at that point that I decided I could post this today instead of yesterday. Hubby needed me to help with some things and dd needed me too:) But I did get this done...


I'm really excited about how this turned out. I'm not sure I like what I did with the ribbon, but it's good enough for now.

I was going to send this post this morning, but dd ended up being sicker than we thought. She has asthma and most of the time we can treat it at home with no problems, but this wasn't one of those times. We went into the Dr. and she was given a breathing treatment and a steroid shot then ex-rays for her chest. Thankfully there isn't any infection, but the treatment didn't help so they sent her over to the ER. Several treatments later we were sent home. She is still having issues, but not quite as bad. I'm thinking if this doesn't get better overnight we will probably end up back at the Dr's tomorrow.
Hopefully she will get a good night's sleep and be doing better in the morning:)

Now off to do a bit of stitching on the next project. Hope you are all having a wonderful evening (or morning, whichever it may be:)!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

New Fur Buddy?

A couple of weeks ago, as I was letting our (indoor) dog out for a potty break, I spotted a stray dog behind our house. He was eating the cat's food and there wasn't a cat to be seen!! We have over a dozen or so cats, so this in itself was pretty weird. Usually you can't walk down off our front steps without tripping over the kitties!! :)

So I got Gracie back in the house without her noticing the other dog. She is almost 12 years old and doesn't notice things like she used to. And the I went out to see if the other dog was one that I recognized or not. We really don't have neighbors, only a few houses here and there and most of them are not being lived in right now. However, the dog was gone when I went back to check things out.

Gracie (the yellow lab) with Titus when he was still alive.
The next day I noticed that the cats were all up in the trees, and they couldn't hardly be coxed down. I would see the dog off and on and this went on for another day or two. We started feeding him once we knew for sure that he wasn't hurting the cats, they just didn't like him (which is good to know since they are so very friendly with Gracie, but we have coyotes out here and we didn't know if they would be scared enough to get to shelter). The dog was super scared of us though, he would watch us very carefully, but if we moved even a little, he would run off.

'Spades' sitting in the shade of the storage building.  He's made friends now with a few of the cats.
It took a little over a week before my dh was able to get him to come up and be petted. He still will only let our dd walk up to him to get petted or to feed him, he stands off a ways with me, but if I stand still he'll come up to me when he's ready. We have learned to show him our hands and make quiet slow movements and that seems to be helping him feel safer. Now we are starting to work on introducing him to Gracie. Last night was the first time dd was able to get Gracie to be calm enough for the other dog (dd is calling him Spades) to come up and sniff around. Gracie loves all animals (you should see her touch noses with the neighbor cows!!), but she gets really excited and that scares 'Spades'. I think we are gaining his trust a little at a time, but he is still very nervous. Makes me wonder why since he does have a collar on (no tags and the collar has a piece of broken rope tied to it). We've asked a few people if they know who's dog this might be, but we are being careful since it looks like he might have been abused. We will be glad to keep him if we can't find an owner, but we are torn on how hard to look for that owner.

He's getting a little better at trusting us:) You can see the piece of rope hanging from his neck.
Dd is also working on getting him to not be afraid of the leash. He was terrified of it the first time she took it out. We won't chain him up, he'll be free to have the run of the place and he has shelter in the lean-to if he needs it, but we may have need to take him to the vet or something like that in the future, so it would be good for him to not be afraid of the leash if we need to use it. So far he has shown himself to be a very sweet dog and I'm hoping we can either find his previous owner or gain his trust so he feels safe here:)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Embroidery Sew Along

A couple weeks ago I joined in with Martina at Sunshine Quilting in this Embroidery Sew Along. The book Patchwork Loves Embroidery by Gail Pan has lots of pretty embroidery projects to work on and I think I've pick out about half of them that I'd like to do!! :0) It was hard to decide which one I wanted to do first, but since I have a few other projects that I am currently working on I decided to choose a pretty easy one.

I am going to start out with the Pretty Bluebird Pincushion. I have all my materials together...


 and now I just need to get stitching on it:) This should be a quick and fun project and I'm really looking forward to putting the first stitches into this. Wish me luck on getting it done, the due date on this one is Sept 1st:)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

IHSW: Late, Late, Late!!!

After I did some fun sewing for the Friday Night Sew In on Friday night and Saturday morning, the whole weekend got away from me!! Granted that was because we were to start school on Monday and I had a few last min things to get ready for it. Once I got everything ready for school I did have some time for stitching, but not blogging. Trying to get back into the school schedule always takes a little time and adjustment, so this week has, so far, been all about that. But I think we are now getting used to the new schedule and I now finally have some time to blog again:)

I really, really want to get 'America' from Little House Needleworks DONE!! So that is what I worked on for this International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, and I am so very close to having it done:) As in close enough that I'm going to have to argue with myself to NOT work on it while I get a few other projects worked on that have deadlines. :) Funny how when I have all the time in the world to work on a project it stays unfinished, but as soon as I am busy with other things that project is the only thing I want to work with!!

Okay, here is where I am with this now...

All I have left are the windows, the poor bird's legs, and a few stars that go along the bottom. I know this piece is patriotic, but as I was stitching the green leaves and the red stripes and dots, I couldn't stop thinking of Christmas!!! ACK, not quite ready for that yet!!
Okay off to see what some of you where up to this past weekend:)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Friday Night Sew In

For this FNSI, I decided to work on a quilt I had started as a 'Block-a-Day' project his past spring. If I had kept up with actually making a block each day, it would have been done by the end of June or July (I can't remember when the end of the project was). However I didn't even come close to keeping up. The furthest I got was 5 of the green blocks:) So I decided to pull that back out and give it another go.

Here is where I started
Last night was a case of the 2 steps forward- 3 steps back when it came to sewing.  I had some of the blue fabric cut and got started on that, but then ran out of small white squares. So I cut out more big and small white squares and decided to go ahead and cut the grey squares as well. Then I realized that I did the points on the blue squares in the wrong order from how I did the green ones. I want them to match up, so I started over. Then I decided I was done for the night!! I did a bit more sewing this morning and I'm feeling much better now:)

Where I left off
I ended up with 5 green blocks and 5 blue blocks and enough grey and white squares to make lots and lots of blocks:) Next time I'll be ready to really get something done!!!
I did have fun with this and I'm planning on joining in on the next FNSI.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

End of Week Plans

The last few weeks before school starts have gone by so fast!!! I am usually looking forward to summer coming to an end and getting to my favorite season of Autumn. This year, though, I'm trying to savor every last min of our summer break:)

We had actually planned to start back to school this week, on Monday. However a quick text from some friends saying that they were planning a trip to a pool on Monday quickly changed our plans. Yesterday we also helped out at a local soup kitchen which was nice. It was my first time and I was amazed at how organized they were. We are now going to try and fit one more trip to a pool we've never been to before we get started on school next Monday:)

I also have an exciting crafty weekend coming up!!! Friday is....

I haven't participated in this in several months and I'm really excited to get back to work on some quilting:)

Then, over the weekend is the...

I've not participated in this for a while either, so I should be nice and busy this weekend with lots of fun crafty project:) That is the perfect kind of weekend!!!

What do you have planned for your weekend? Hope you are able to fit in something that makes you smile:)

Monday, August 11, 2014

WIPocalypse Aug 2014

It's been ages since I've participated in this, but I think it's about time I got involved with some challenges again!! The coming of Autumn always puts me in the creative mood, even if we haven't seen the temps drop down yet:)

If you don't know what WIPocalypse is, then head over to Measi's Musings and read about it, then join in if you'd like!!! It really is just motivation for finishing some of our oldest or biggest projects.

And this time I have one of my oldest (at least the oldest that I'm still interested in getting finished). This one is 'America' from LHN and I think I started on this one about 4 years ago. I'll put a few stitches in it every couple of months, but I would really like to get this one finished and framed.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer Bounty

This is the first summer in a few years that we are actually doing fairly well with our garden. Last year we didn't even try to grow one due to over-time at dh's work and family health issues that required some time and attention from hubby as well. But even the few years before that, when we were trying to grow our own produce, we just weren't seeing much results from it. Mostly it has to do with the fact that our soil has too much clay in it, but our ground water is very salty as well. You wouldn't expect that in Kansas, but there are actually underground salt deposits here and it messes with our water supply. In years that we get enough rain, this isn't too much of a problem. First, we don't have to water the garden as much if it is raining and second, getting lots of rain dilutes the salt enough not to cause problems. However, we have been in drought conditions for several years now and that means the salt level is pretty high. Salt water REALLY doesn't help plants to grow:)  So this year we decided to construct a couple raised beds to grow our garden in.

Pepper plants

With limited funds, because the wood and soil are kind of expensive, we decided to start with two 8x4 ft beds, see how they do and then add a couple more next year. I have to say that it has really been a success!! Having nice fertile soil that is light and fluffy instead of like rock has been great, and nature blessed us with some much needed rain at just the right time as well. We planted 4 tomato plants, 2 cherry tomatoes, 2 jalapenos, 4 bell peppers, 3-4 cucumbers and 2 serrano pepper plants, and most are still alive!! :) We did make a mistake and waited too long before deciding on caging the tomato plants and so we didn't end up
caging them at all. This would be fine except that the tomato plants overtook that bed which also had the jalapeƱos in it, and now I can't find them:) And the weather was really nice and cool at the beginning of the summer, which cucumbers must not like because all but one of those plants died. However, we've still gotten about a dozen cucumbers from the one plant, so that has been really good. The only real negative that we've found from our experiment is that with only 4 regular tomato plants, we have an awkward amount of tomatoes. There are too many for our family to eat (only dh and I like them), but not nearly enough for canning. So some of them are going bad. And we have cherry tomatoes coming out our ears!! We keep looking for recipes that we can use them in and dh has them in his daily salads.
This weekend's pickins'

Look close for the horn worm!!
This has been successful enough for us to decide to do another 2 beds next year. Our plan is to have 2 beds of tomatoes and to add some okra and maybe some herbs to it. The only thing I'd still like to grow would be green beans. I like the bush variety, apposed to the pole beans, and the bush beans take up a bit more room. Since I'd also like to can green beans, I'm thinking I'd need another 2 beds just for them. Maybe the year after next I'll be able to do those:)   

Friday, August 8, 2014

Sew Along Anyone?

You all know that I love to cross stitch. You've seen the many, many project that I have started and the few that I have actually finished:) You may even know that I really enjoy to crochet and that I have recently started learning to knit. Last year I even started learning to do other kinds of embroidery. I really find any kind of hand to fabric/thread/yarn very relaxing and enjoyable. But like many of you, I never seem to have as much free time to work on these things as I would like:) So challenges and stitch-alongs gives me a bit of an excuse to push me to spend a little more time doing what I love to do.

I was reading though my blog list and came across a (another!!) sew-along that I am going to give a try!! Martina from Sunshine Quilting found this book.....

and would like to do several of the projects in it and decided that a sew along would be a fun way to encourage herself and others to get the projects done. After looking through the sample pages, I decided to buy it as well and it is simply beautiful!! There are quite a few project in it that I would also like to make for myself or others for gifts. The projects are nice and simple but are all very pretty. So I have joined in the sew-along, and there is still time for you to join in too if you would like. Just head over to Sunshine Quilting and leave a comment before Aug 17th.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Something Old/Something New

Time to restart the Something Old/Something New posts!! I really love having this 'excuse' to make sure I'm keeping my stitching practice fun and exciting!!

This month I have the following projects I'm working on...

My 'Something Old' isn't very old at all. This is the newest Prim Society club chart from Threadwork Primitives. This will make into a 'Stitcher's Pad' with a pin cushion built in. This is a really pretty design that has many possibilities for color and different kinds of projects. I'm one that likes my stitching to be useful, and I'm not sure how useful this will be as it seems that it would take up a lot of space just to be a pin cushion, but I'll make it how it's intended and maybe I'll play with it another time to make something else out of it.

And here is my 'Something New'. This one is a kit and I'll be making it for LoveQuilts. The theme was to be 'realistic dog with no girl colors'. It's been a while since I've done a kit and I forgot just how big of a pain sorting out all those threads are! As it was I needed to buy different fabric since the rules for LoveQuilts is that they fabric has to be cut at 13x13" so they have some wiggle room to shape the block for the end quilt. And there are a lot of color changes in this one, but it is really cute and should make a nice block for a little boy. I haven't done a block for LoveQuilts for a while now, so while this one will be a bit of a challenge, I'm pretty excited to get to work on it and send it in.
That is it for now. Hope you are all having lots of stitchy fun too!! :) 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Back On Track

Whew, what a busy summer this has been. DD signed up for an apprenticeship program with a zoo an hour away in June. Thankfully grandma and grandpa live close to that zoo and kept her some during that 3 week time frame so I didn't have to drive back and forth so much. She had a good time though she said that she gets to do much more on her own at the little local zoo that she volunteers at than they allowed there. But she made some friends and will get to see them again next weekend when the whole group gets back together for an end-of-summer party.

After that it was time to get ready for the 4-H fair. This would have gone pretty smoothly if it weren't for me getting sick. We still aren't sure what it was (dr. thought at first it might be a kidney stone, but it wasn't), but it had me down for a little over a week, right up to the week of the fair!! No worries, we got most of what she wanted to get done ready just in the nick of time!! :) And she did really good at fair. Several purple ribbons with one Champion ribbon and some blue and a red too. The only really disappointing thing was that her female rabbit was disqualified for having 'butted' teeth. Something we hadn't noticed. The rabbit will be fine as the teeth are still wearing down like they should be, but she won't be able to be shown, and since this usually has to do with the way their head is shaped, we are worried that it may pass on to future generations, which is why we got her in the first place. DD needs to do some research on that before we decide to breed her.

We are still trying to fit in a few more fun days before summer break is over and we have to do the dreaded thing....

Yep, it's about that time. I have tried with all my might not to get ready for this:) However I purchased a curriculum this year that has most of the planning done for me, so I really won't have an excuse when the time comes to get started!! Really all I have left to do it print out my planner/grade book and take it to Office Max to have it bound. Other than that, and convincing dd that 'Yes, you really do HAVE to do school!!', we are just about ready.

With the school schedule comes a chance for me to start working more on my stitching and sewing and blogging as well. And tomorrow I am going to start up my 'Something Old, Something New' posts again. Even when I'm not stitching a bunch, I still find a way to sneak in a new project here and there;) Maybe you have something new you want to show off too?